"Mother, bless me."
In one of the innermost rooms of the church, a ritual was happening.
Despite being completely devoid of any decoration, the room seemed to be covered in a holy atmosphere.
In the middle of the room, standing over a large concentric circle in the form of a pentagram, Camelia could be seen with her two arms stretched and bleeding from the slit made on her wrists.
She kept mumbling about a blessing from her "mother" as she bathed the circle, that was drawn in a special chalk, with her own blood.
This blood, even though it was seemingly coming from a human, had a slightly golden hue.
Her expression was as pale as a sheet and her breath was getting weaker. Still, she did not stop.
Next to her, a young blonde-haired girl wearing a blue knight armor had a worried expression as she opened and closed her mouth again and again but still didn't voice her worry.
She knew that any words getting from her could disturb the entire ritual and since Camelia had been bleeding herself out to the limit of fainting every day for exactly seven nights and seven days she would never forgive herself if she made this ritual fail.
'All of this because of that human, Sol. Why is she putting herself into such a danger for him'
She clenched her fist as she gripped the hem dress while a feeling of powerlessness washed over her.
She couldn't understand why this woman she respected so much was willing to pay such a price for a boy.
A name that made her extremely curious.
She had just entered the church of Castitas for a short time to complete her paladin training and she didn't really understand what was so extraordinary about that human.
Why were all the girls in the church and even the supreme daughter so enamored with him
'Does he even know how much sister Camelia is sacrificing for him'
Camelia wasn't just asking a blessing from Castitas. By praying for seven days and seven nights she was doing a demand to the fourteen goddesses all together.
She didn't know what exactly, but it seemed that she was asking the goddesses to bend the rules of the Astral world during the next opening so that Sol had a direct shot at obtaining a powerful spirit.
She was basically asking the goddesses to cheat for Sol,
'From the record, it seems that the previous Supreme daughter did the same for the hero king. Though she had to use her blood as well as the blood of all holy daughters.'
"Chloe, come and help me."
The weak voice brought her back from her musing and, with extremely careful moves, she took the cloak she was holding and covered the previously nude body of Camelia with it.
"I am thankful."
"You shouldn't be. It's my duty."
"Fufufu~! The clumsy Chloe is now a proud paladin in training from the holy order of Industria. Your mother must be proud of you."
Chloe blushed in embarrassment but was extremely elated inside. During their training, all paladins of all seven churches had to complete their training in another church.
Generally, it was done at random to avoid unbalance, but Chloe, as the top of her promotion in Slothstein, was given a choice and she didn't hesitate to choose Lustburg.
She grew up hearing the legend of the hero-king and his band of companions.
The supreme daughter of Castitas and her own mother being part of them. Though she was a little disappointed that the son of her hero was nothing more than a womanizer.
"Thank you, my aunt. Mother always scolded me by saying that I would do a funny knight."
Camelia simply chuckled, at that, she would never tell this niece of her just how bad her mother was at first before becoming the supreme daughter of Industria. Parents had to keep some dignity after all.
"Now, help me walk towards my room. I need to wash myself and get some energy potions. I can't let Sol see me in such a pitiful sight."
'Sol, Sol, Sol always Sol. Does she have nothing aside from that boy in her mind'
,m She hesitated a little before asking carefully, "My aunt, why are you doing so much for a human"
Camelia gave a wane smile, she understood that this question wasn't done with ill intention, "Firstly, I am also a human."
Heat covered once again Chloe's face as she stammered, "S-sorry. I-I didn't mean it like th-that! I just mean–I thought you weren't interested in men like him. Didn't you reject King Mars because he wasn't your type Prince Sol is basically an exact copy of the king. They could even pass for twins."
Camelia closed her eyes, as she thought back to Mars, one of her most precious friends, before slowly saying,
"When I said my type, I wasn't talking about his look. For me who can see farther into people, physical appearance held little appeal. What initially attracted me was–his soul."
As she said this, her eyes took a vacant and dreamy look as if reminiscing the most beautiful thing she ever saw.
While Camelia was finishing the preparation for her ritual, Sol was currently lying down in his room in deep thought.
He still had a few hours to go before evening and his meeting with Camelia, but he did not really know how to spend it.
Lilith had canceled all his lessons for the day, because she decided that he needed to rest a little and acclimate himself to the feeling of mana.
Mana was a mysterious form of energy that filled the world. For Sol who came from a normal world, mana was basically the stuff of legend and fantasy. Being able to use it felt like a dream.
He stood up and walked toward the large full body mirror fixed on the wall of his room.
Once in front of it, he began to take off his clothes until he was only in a pair of boxers.
'OK, let's do it.'
He closed his eyes and began to look inwardly. Well, not literally, just that he could feel more easily the circulation of mana when his eyes were closed.
His chest rose and fell as he continued to repeat this movement. Using mana was like breathing. As such it should be an almost instinctive movement. You shouldn't need to "think" about using mana. Rather it should be the most natural thing for you.
Everything was in the rhythm.
Sol, even though he didn't have mana in the past, was already trained in the correct way of breathing. So it didn't take long for him to grasp the feeling now.
'This is it.'
A feeling of warmth coursed through his body, as he felt his heartbeat with renowned vigor.
When he opened his eyes, he was surprised to see that they had changed from his usual blue to deep gold. What more, his irises had a reptilian shape confirming once again his ancestry.
He could feel his vision sharpening and all his senses becoming stronger. This wasn't just the effect of circulating mana. He knew he was receiving a boost from being a half.
"This looks badass and all but I hope this isn't all."
There weren't enough records about hybrids to make an educated guess about the standards changes.
One would think that with all those contracts between humans and magical beings hybrids between the two species would be more numerous. But it wasn't so.
Sol guessed that one of the reasons could be genetic. After all, even in his old world, hybrids between two races could only exist when the difference was minimal.
One example could be the Tigon who was a hybrid between a male tiger and a female lion.
Of course, trying to use reason like genetic in a world where goddesses, dragons, and other mythical creatures existed was just a waste of time.
'Anyway, now, I can truly become stronger.'
The awakening was the first step towards his future. He had spent years preparing for it. Endless hours of physical and theoretical training.
'By the way, she said I had an attribute right'
He knew his mother was a chaos dragon. But that didn't give him any clues.
A dragon title wasn't about the magic or elements they were the best at, but rather the magic they had an immunity to.
For example, a fire dragon was immune to fire magic but could perhaps be a master in ice magic.
This was what made dragons all the more dangerous. Not only you had to guess what kind of magic they were immune to but you also had to guess which magic they mastered.
Sol thought about all that as he continued to admire himself in the mirror.
"Sol, I wanted to talk to–"
The door suddenly opened to a stunned Milia.
She wasn't just stunned about his rather ridiculous pose but more importantly because of his eyes as she saw them in the mirror.
Sol on the other was also stunned for another reason. He wasn't just doing some pose. He was also stretching his sense in the radius outside his room. He could hear all the maids walk and talk as they giggled be it under his room or on the side.
Even though he couldn't clearly hear their words it showed just how powerful his senses were.
But… Just now–he didn't hear the steps of Milia.